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Update: North Korea test-fires Hwaseong-16Na intermediate-range hypersonic missile

The Hwaseong-16Na missile has an estimated range of 3,000–5,500 km. When launched from Pyongyang, the missile has the ability to strike US military base in Guam at its maximum estimated range. (Janes)

North Korea test-fired a “new” solid-fuelled intermediate-range hypersonic missile known as Hwaseong-16Na for the first time on 2 April, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 3 April.

The test firing of the missile – which features a “newly developed” hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) – was aimed at confirming its designed technical specifications and verifying the reliability, KCNA said.

The test was conducted to verify the missile's orbit altitude and cross-range manoeuvring capability within its limited range of 1,000 km, KCNA added.

The range was limited to 1,000 km considering safety, and the speed and altitude of the missile were controlled by delaying the start-up of the second-stage engine and rapidly changing the flight orbit, KCNA said.

The weapon's HGV, which was separated from the missile after its launch, reached its first peak at an altitude of 101.1 km before making a gliding re-entry to reach the second peak to a height of 72.3 km along the pre-programmed flight trajectory before hitting a target in the waters of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) around 1,000 km away, according to KCNA.

However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on 2 April that the missile was launched from an area near Pyongyang, and it flew about 600 km before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

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